JDK
(enthusiast)
12/11/17 10:24 AM
The Buck of a Lifetime

I started hunting back in the '80s and have had some success and always enjoyed the sport. To paraphrase a famous hunter (who's name I cannot recall right now), "we kill to have hunted, not hunt to have killed." The camaraderie and outdoor experience is always the best part. I've never taken anything which could ever be considered a trophy. In fact, the bucks I've shot in my life have always been small and often wierd antlered.

As life marched on, work and family took over and my hunting opportunities became very few and far in between. Family land was sold off as relatives passed on and in Texas, it can be almost impossible to hunt without owning your own land or paying a lot of money. As my oldest son reached hunting age, he started going places to hunt with his grandfather on the rare occasion he had an opportunity come up. My son ended up shooting some nice bucks, much nicer than any I'd taken, we even had one mounted. I believed my hunting days would now be relegated to back-up hunter and spotter for the boys and I was thrilled with my oldest son's success at this point.

To allow them to hunt and enjoy the outdoors as I always have, my wife and I decided to buy some land. After searching far and wide, we found a small tract near Hunt, Texas, between Kerrville and Bandera. It is covered with deer and hog sign, and we've even seen Axis there, so we were excited. It's a small place, but with low fences and large ranches around it, I had high hopes.

My son and I hunted early in the season, but the mild weather and extreme over-abundance of acorns kept deer lazy and safe. We saw one doe slip up to the feeder after shooting light and slip away as fast as she came. We enjoyed it though, a lot. And, we finally had a place we could hunt whenever we wanted and it was ours.

Fast forward to this past weekend. Thursday it snowed like crazy all over the Texas Hill Country and dipped to the upper 20's at night in Kerrville, but Friday turned sunny with highs in the 50's. So we packed up to spend the weekend with some wonderful friends who live near our land. On Friday, we arrived just in time to unload and head to the ranch, as we call it, though ranchito is more accurate. The plan was for my son to take a doe, so he was in postion with his .257 Roberts rifle laid over his pack. The feeder threw it's corn for the evening and we watched. As there was what looked like 50 pounds of uneaten corn on the ground already, we wondered if anything would even come, but enjoyed the sights, sounds, weather, and each other's company just the same.

Around five o'clock, three does slipped in from the right of us. We were in a makeshift ground blind we cobbled together using a bench/table combo thingy setting about 90-95 yards from the feeder. I spent the past Spring clearing cedar trees, so we piled them around the front and sides for cover. We watched and whispered about our plans. I scanned left with my binos and saw antlers gleaming in the setting sunlight. I whispered to my son to be still as more action than we expected seemed to be unfolding. My son whispered back that the buck was with the three does. We went back and forth before we realized there were two bucks out there. I swung the binos back to the right and saw the largest buck I had ever seen in the field! The antlers appeared four feet wide and three feet tall! My son immediately told me to slip onto the bench from my chair behind and take the buck. He knew I had never taken a trophy and wanted to be sure I got this one (insert proud dad emoji
).

I moved up as quietly as possible, sure the buck could hear the pounding of my heart. I had full-on buck fever. My son kept trying to hand me his rifle, since this was one big deer, but I refused several times. I was deep breathing and situating the T/C Contender on top of the backpack. By this time, the buck seemed to have scared away the other buck and the does. He started walking towards the feeder, stopping and looking cautiously every few seconds. At around 100 yards, he stopped and presented an almost perfect broadside view. I settled the crosshairs of the Burris 4X scope on the center front of his shoulder and squeezed the trigger. At the shot, the buck kicked and slowly ran/trotted away from us.

We sat for 15 minutes, which seemed a life time, and whispered about what we saw. I knew he was hit, but I went through every bad scenario my mind could conjure. Finally, we walked down to look. No blood. Not a drop anywhere. We swept around the back of the feeder in wide arcs until we reached some large piles of cedar waiting to be burned. I was a bit deflated and thanking God for the sunlight we still had because I figured we would need all of it to search. I started to walk around the big cedar pile in front of me and there was the buck. I was shocked! This was by far bigger than anything I had ever dreamed of taking. The spread was almost 22". The antlers had ten tines, including a broken dog catcher, plus a split dog catcher, and a spur coming off one base. From being the first deer taken from our land, to hunting with my son who spotted the deer, to the friends we stayed with who helped us haul and process the deer, to the trophy laying before me, everything about this hunt made this deer the buck of a lifetime. It's getting a shoulder mount. I'm still giddy!

A few details: the gun was an old T/C Contender with a T/C Super 14 barrel in 30-30 Win. which I recently picked up second-hand. The scope is an old Burris fixed 4X. I used a factory Remington 150 grain Core-lokt load. I've always found the Rem. Core-lokts to be great performers no matter the caliber. The shot hit right where the cross hairs were in the middle front of the shoulder. The buck was at a very slight angle towards me. The bullet made a tiny entrance hole with a few drops of blood coming out, and there was no obvious exit. The top of the heart and the lungs were a mess. The chest was filled with blood, so it all pooled there with nary a drop coming out until the buck expired. Upon inspection, the bullet caused a nasty wound on the inside of the chest wall opposite the entrance, but I'm not even sure if it exited. The next day, I had to quickly get the deer back to my processor, so I unfortunately didn't do a more thorough inspection. Suffice it to say the bullet did a very good job and, I believe, had I hit it a little lower, there would have been a tremendous blood trail.

Sorry for the long winded book, but this is a special deer and I wanted to share all the details. Take care gents!

[img]IMG_1880 by jdk112, on Flickr[/img]

[img]IMG_1881 by [/img]

[img][url=https://flic.kr/p/22kRRgo]
IMG_1879 by jdk112, on Flickr[/img]
Sorry for the face blur, I'm internet paranoid


s4s4u
(Shootist)
12/11/17 10:42 AM
Re: The Buck of a Lifetime

Outstanding buck. Thanks for sharing.

KRal
(Shootist)
12/11/17 10:44 AM
Re: The Buck of a Lifetime

That was truly a hunt and deer of a life time; CONGRATS!...... And to take it with the classic whitetail round - the old 30/30 has probably taken more whitetail than any other.

Whitworth
(Shootist)
12/11/17 10:58 AM
Re: The Buck of a Lifetime

Very nicely done! Congratulations!

REDHAWK1954
(Pooh-Bah)
12/11/17 11:04 AM
Re: The Buck of a Lifetime

That is truly a buck of a life time and having your son in the blind with you makes it even more special. I know because my son and I try to hunt in a blind together at least a couple of times a year. It takes us back to when he was a kid and I was the young man. Now he is 38 and I am the old man at 63. It makes for a very special time. I treasure those memories!

Ernie
(Distinguished Master)
12/11/17 11:07 AM
Re: The Buck of a Lifetime

Very happy for you!

karl
(addict)
12/11/17 11:35 AM
Re: The Buck of a Lifetime

Congratulations!

jamesfromjersey
(Shootist)
12/11/17 11:38 AM
Re: The Buck of a Lifetime

A big boy for sure...

45MAN
(veteran)
12/11/17 12:52 PM
Re: The Buck of a Lifetime

FANTASTIC LOW FENCE, HILL COUNTRY DEER!

MrMcPorkchop
(member)
12/11/17 02:17 PM
Re: The Buck of a Lifetime

Holy cow! Congrats on a great buck!

ruger4570
(enthusiast)
12/11/17 02:20 PM
Re: The Buck of a Lifetime

Great story. Congrats on a really nice buck. Even a Doe would have been a nice trophy all things considered. Nice pics, hope to see more in the future.

Mark Hampton
(addict)
12/11/17 02:50 PM
Re: The Buck of a Lifetime

Great buck - great story! Congrats

tradmark
(Gun Slinger)
12/11/17 03:36 PM
Re: The Buck of a Lifetime

Great write up and what a buck!!!!! Nice job

Dekker
(journeyman)
12/11/17 04:42 PM
Re: The Buck of a Lifetime

Congrats! on a great buck. Enjoyed the write up and pics.

KYODE
(Shooting Expert)
12/11/17 04:45 PM
Re: The Buck of a Lifetime

Great!

You are the second faceless man around. Dont worry on sites like this. I dont think youins are gonna make playboy magazine. 🕺🏼


Randy M
(old hand)
12/11/17 05:46 PM
Re: The Buck of a Lifetime

Outstanding buck and great story. Even more so that you were able to share it with your son. Congrats!

BRASF0311
(enthusiast)
12/11/17 06:11 PM
Re: The Buck of a Lifetime

Awesome buck and story, congrats.

cmnash
(old hand)
12/11/17 07:18 PM
Re: The Buck of a Lifetime

Very, VERY nice! That is a true trophy in every sense of the word.

junebug
(Pooh-Bah)
12/11/17 07:37 PM
Re: The Buck of a Lifetime

Nice! Very nice .A big part of the hunt is who we share it with . Making memories that will never fade. WELL DONE TO YOU AND YOUR SON!!!!!!!!!!!

Russell
(Pooh-Bah)
12/11/17 08:05 PM
Re: The Buck of a Lifetime

Congratulations on a great buck!

racksmasher1
(veteran)
12/11/17 08:07 PM
Re: The Buck of a Lifetime

Thats a good buck ANYWHERE, good for you!

PsTaN
(addict)
12/11/17 08:27 PM
Re: The Buck of a Lifetime

What a wonderful story and good gracious what a fine whitetail!!

Congratulations!


Brenden
(enthusiast)
12/11/17 08:34 PM
Re: The Buck of a Lifetime

What a nice buck. Thanks for sharing your story; I really enjoyed it.

billa
(old hand)
12/11/17 10:07 PM
Re: The Buck of a Lifetime

A fantastic trophy. Congratulations. What a beauty.

pab1
(Distinguished Expert)
12/12/17 01:58 AM
Re: The Buck of a Lifetime

Wow! Very nice buck!

Newt
(journeyman)
12/12/17 05:00 AM
Re: The Buck of a Lifetime

Beautiful deer. Great story. Congratulations to you both.

dhom
(addict)
12/12/17 06:12 AM
Re: The Buck of a Lifetime

Great Buck and with a 30-30 and the deadliest mushroom in the woods. Good job!!!!

cherokeetracker
(addict)
12/12/17 09:33 AM
Re: The Buck of a Lifetime

Classic cartridge and Great results.

JDK
(enthusiast)
12/12/17 06:48 PM
Re: The Buck of a Lifetime

Thank you everyone for the kind words. As many have mentioned, using a handgun, and in a grand old caliber like the 30-30, added much to the experience. Thanks again and take care everyone.

SGalan
(journeyman)
12/13/17 10:24 AM
Re: The Buck of a Lifetime

Wow! Very special moment. Very happy for you.

Gregg RichterAdministrator
(Distinguished Expert)
12/17/17 06:18 PM
Re: The Buck of a Lifetime

JDK,

Good job all the way around; Congratulations on a great buck with the single shot pistol!

JDK, Your circumstances and story deserve to be re-submitted for the Member Articles section.

Member Articles

A lot of members possibly do not recognize the advantage of submitting a story that way (Members Articles) versus just putting it here in this Forum. It is of course easier to put it here, and you more or less get "instant gratification" this way, but the fact is that it will be here for all to see and read for only a few days; as more and more new postings are made and members quit commenting on your story, it goes further and further back into the Archives, literally daily.

However, if it is also submitted and published in the Members Articles section, under Handgun Hunting, it will forever be "just two clicks away." It will remain as one of the permanent stories in that section; along with (in actuality) only a very few other Handgun Hunting Stories in comparison to the number of these postings that just get further and further buried.

So you have successfully completed the first step, posting it here. Now how about going here:

Enter Your Story and Photos

and submit your story for Gary's approval!

Gregg


JDK
(enthusiast)
12/17/17 08:52 PM
Re: The Buck of a Lifetime

Thanks Gregg. That's a good idea. I enjoy the member articles. When I started, my post was going to be pretty short, but it ended up being a novel!

SChunter
(Shooting Expert)
12/22/17 09:46 AM
Re: The Buck of a Lifetime

JDK - W O W

A giant handgun deer on your own property...fantastic!!! Congratulations


HHI6818
(newbie)
12/23/17 08:24 PM
Re: The Buck of a Lifetime

Congratulations on a awesome buck. Enjoyed the story

Zee
(Gun Slinger)
12/24/17 10:40 AM
Re: The Buck of a Lifetime

Amazing buck!

sixshot
(old hand)
01/08/19 01:05 PM
Re: The Buck of a Lifetime

Congratulations on a great deer hunt that you got to share! That's some fine country there, I spent one winter living in Bandera & saw lots of game along the road, especially around Medina. We even spotted 2 Kangaroos!

Dick


JDK
(enthusiast)
01/08/19 07:38 PM
Re: The Buck of a Lifetime

Be warned, there is rifle content to follow


In the original post, I explained how my son wanted me to take the buck last year, even though he was locked and loaded when the buck stepped out. Well, this year was all his. He started by taking an Axis doe early on while we were watching for some nice bucks we'd seen on the game cam. We had decided on a nice 8 point which wasn't too wide, but had high and nicely symmetrical antlers, though it still seemed relatively young. He surprised us one evening, approaching from the side of our ground blind, coming to within 30 yards and trotting off into the sunset.

Fast forward to the final weekend of the general season. We hunted Saturday evening and retrieved the SD card from the camera to see if the high 8 had been around. He had, but we saw a new buck. He was large bodied and had a wide rack. In all, it looked like we would have at least three nice bucks to choose from...IF one decided to show up.

The next morning was 31 degrees and crystal clear. My son and I were in the stand well before sunrise. After an hour or so, a mama doe and her twin yearlings came to feed. They always come and it's very annoying because mama is very skittish. She snorts and stomps at anything. After a long while, she got wind of us and they ran off. After that we saw nothing. We were cold and tired. I told my son we'd leave at 9 o'clock if nothing happened.

About 8:40 I was nodding off in my chair when my son told me a doe was crossing the field. I grabbed the binos and watched as she went right past the feeder. He then said there was a buck following her. I pulled the binos back up and saw that it was a big one. I gave him the green light...except the buck wasn't stopping. We both started whistling like crazy and he finally stopped. My son fired and the buck dropped straight down on his belly.

He was using an old converted 1895 Mauser in 257 Roberts. This rifle requires standard pressure ammo, so it's probably running about like what some of you are getting from your handguns. the load consisted of a Speer 120 gr. HotCor, a standard cup and core bullet. It's only running at around 2550 FPS. He hit it high in the shoulder. It had a entry wound, which shows massive destruction inside the body cavity, but no exit. My son has killed a number of deer with this load and it's deadly effective.

We didn't get a weight, but the buck was challenging to get into the truck after being dressed. The antler bases are really thick, but many of the tines are broken, including both brow tines. The spread is impressive at 24". Anyway, I wanted to update the thread with an "all's well that ends well' post! he wanted me to get mine and now he has his. Thanks for looking. (for size reference, my son is 6' tall)

[img]Untitled by jdk112, on Flickr[/img]

Franchise
(Distinguished Expert)
01/08/19 07:51 PM
Re: The Buck of a Lifetime

Damn Nice Buck!!!! Outstanding

RSW
(journeyman)
01/08/19 08:15 PM
Re: The Buck of a Lifetime

That's a beautiful buck!

junebug
(Pooh-Bah)
01/10/19 03:12 PM
Re: The Buck of a Lifetime

-Nice buck and a fine way to put a cap on the season!Memories with family and friends can't be beat or replaced.